Saturday, February 21, 2009

Alone in the World

One good thing about flying out of Tel Aviv at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday: I had all eight seats in the First Class cabin to myself. With two flight attendants assigned to the cabin the attention was almost too much. Almost.

Security at the Ben Gurion Aiport in Tel Aviv was stringent but efficient. They paid a lot of attention to my carry-on bag, inspecting items they couldn't see clearly via x-ray and carefully inspected my laptop. But I said to the security agent what I always say, "thanks for keeping us safe."

Unlike the outstanding experiences I'm having in the air, my frustrations with Hilton Hotels continue. I was greeted at the Athens Hilton and ushered to the Executive Floor for check-in. They told me I had a nice room on the Executive Floor and was welcome to use the Executive Lounge. Then I told them I wanted internet access for free. First they said I could only have free internet access in the Business Center. I insisted that it be in my room. At that point they moved me to an inferior room on the fifth floor and banned me from the Executive Lounge. Thanks for your business, Mr. Green.

I'm ready to start sightseeing in Athens but first it's time for my Oscar predictions. The show begins at 3 a.m. in Athens and I'm going to try and watch it -- we'll see.

Here are my predictions on who is going to win -- not necessarily who I think SHOULD win.

Performance by an actor in a leading role -- Sean Penn -- Milk

Performance by an actor in a supporting role -- Heath Ledger -- The Dark Knight

Performance by an actress in a leading role -- Kate Winslet -- The Reader

Performance by an actress in a supporting role -- Marisa Tomei -- The Wrestler

Best animated feature film of the year -- WALL-E

Achievement in art direction -- Changeling

Achievement in cinematography -- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Achievement in costume design -- The Duchess

Achievement in directing -- Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire

Best documentary feature -- Man on Wire (the only one I saw)

Best documentary short subject -- The Witness -- From the Balcony of Room 306 (a complete guess)

Achievement in film editing -- Slumdog Millionaire

Best foreign language film of the year -- The Baader Meinhof Complex

Achievement in makeup -- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Original Score -- Slumdog Millionaire

Original Song -- Jai Ho -- Slumdog Millionaire

Best motion picture of the year -- Slumdog Millionaire

Best animated short film -- Presto

Best live action short film -- Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Achievement in sound editing -- Slumdog Millionaire

Achievement in sound mixing -- Slumdog Millionaire

Achievement in visual effects -- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Adapted screenplay -- Slumdog Millionaire

Original screenplay -- Milk
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